After a year of COVID hibernation, it is good to see Little League baseball up and running again. If anyone disagrees, then please move along. You can’t be my friend.
I played Little League from about as young as I can remember. My dad was the coach, which meant I played with a bit of a chip on my shoulder, feeling like I had to demonstrate I earned a spot on the team legitimately.
I think I did that. I could field fine. As a hitter I could lay the bat on the ball. I rarely struck out.
Those were happy summer days. Win or lose we got ice cream after every game. And once or twice during the season, we were treated to a pizza party. I have my team pictures, and I still maintain contact with a good number of my teammates. It’s a bond that sticks with you.
But in the life of every baseball player there comes a day of reckoning. A day when you know you will never play at the next level. I remember mine clearly. In the year before going to high school, I stepped up to the plate to face a pitcher who had a really good fastball and an excellent curveball. The first time I saw that curve, it looked like it was going behind my head. My knees buckled. I ducked. It snapped back over the plate for a strike. It absolutely baffled me and put me on my heels. He then zipped fastballs by me at will.
I had never seen such a thing. In a moment of clarity, I knew my baseball days were numbered. About a year later I told my coach/dad that I would not be trying out for varsity baseball. He was not happy, but at the end of a long “discussion” he said I’d have to play at least two sports. I choose football in the fall and tennis in the spring.
I made the varsity tennis team (a shocker since I had never played it before) and became the No. 1 singles player in high school. But as the decades passed, tennis became a faded memory.
The memories of those days of summer baseball, however, stayed beautiful. We had the time of our lives.
CARDS AND LETTERS
A loyal reader recently sent a nice note on their subscription renewal. “I love your column. Common sense. Humorous. Honest and frank.”
Well, thank you. I hope the following jokes don’t change your opinion of me.
ONE MORE THING
— Chicken coops have two door doors, because if they had four doors they’d be chicken sedans.
— The pirate exclaimed on his 80th birthday: “Aye matey!”
— I entered 10 puns in a contest and hoped to win, but no pun in ten did.
— I liked the movie Forrest Gump so much that I changed my computer password to 1forrest1.
Thanks for your time, ladies and germs. I will let myself out and look forward to seeing you next week. Be well. Be kind.
(Sherman R. Frederick is the founder and owner of Battle Born Media, a newspaper company dedicated to the preservation of home town newspapers in Nevada. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)